This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
It’s the 1920s Prohibition Era in the United States. Alcohol is illegal. Organized crime grows at an unprecedented rate as gangsters get rich selling hooch to a thirsty populace. You are one of those gangsters…and you have superpowers!
In the CAPERS tabletop roleplaying game, you portray a character with extraordinary abilities in the Roaring Twenties. As a gangster, you seek to exploit the law and get rich off of alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and racketeering. You join up with other players to collectively seek your fortunes in the vice-riddled, booze-soaked casinos and speakeasies of the Jazz Age.
Alternatively, you and the other players can portray members of law enforcement seeking to bring these criminals to justice.
The setting features some prominent, historical Prohibition Era characters but also a variety of gender-swaps and race-flips to make the game about more than mostly Italian and Irish guys. A slew of unique, fictional NPCs of all types have been created to give every player something to latch onto when perusing the game world.
CAPERS is a game of action, adventure, virtue, and vice in a world coming into its own. It’s a world of theft, fraud, subterfuge, and espionage. Your character will risk their life to find their place in this world, regardless of which side of the law they fall on.
When playing CAPERS, each player (and the GM) uses their own deck of standard, poker-style playing cards (52 suit cards plus 2 jokers) to determine if a character succeeds at difficult tasks.
The pip value of the card you flip (2, 3, and so on, up to ace high) determines success versus failure. The card’s suit determines the DEGREE of success or failure, starting at clubs (the worst) and going alphabetically upward to spades (the best). You’ll be able to flip multiple cards based on your character’s capability. You might flip the king of clubs, certainly a success with a king, but just barely a success with clubs.
Do you settle for barely successful or flip another card, hoping for a better result? Each flip is a gamble, risking failure.
Every backer at the Bootlegger level and higher gets the following. (Refer to individual backer levels for other rewards specific to that level.)
- A PDF of the CAPERS game, approximately 150-160 pages in color, including all unlocked stretch goals. Projected book length is dependent upon hitting all stretch goals.
- A variety of PDF support materials. See “Support Materials” for more information.
- A link to purchase a soft or hardcover book at cost from DriveThruRPG.com later. See “Ordering Physical Books” for more information.
- A link to purchase a deck of CAPERS-themed playing cards from DriveThruCards.com later. See “Ordering Cards” for more information.
- A PDF of the CAPERS Preview Edition, made available to all backers shortly after the Kickstarter funds. (EDIT: The preview edition is available to backers NOW. Check out Update 7.) This preview edition is bare bones, with just enough information to run the game and is in black and white. It may read a bit differently from the final book. It contains some setting info, the rules, a handful of powers, some pre-generated characters, and an introductory adventure.
- A thank-you in the book's credits.
Once we’ve hit the goal to get the basic book made, we’ll start announcing stretch goals. These goals will add both player and GM related content to the game, making it bigger and providing more options and tools for gameplay. Everyone at the Bootlegger level and higher will receive all the stretch goals we unlock.
- Powers and New York: $3200 - UNLOCKED. We’ve added five more powers for characters along with a complete write-up of New York City, including NPCs like Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein and Carla “Lucky” Luciano.
- Powers and Chicago: $4200 - UNLOCKED. We’ll add five more powers for characters along with a complete write-up of Chicago, including NPCs like Al “Scarface” Capone and D.O.J. Agent Vanessa “Ness” Elliott.
- Power Gear, Exceptionals, and City One-Pagers: $5200 - UNLOCKED. We’ll add rules for powered gear for those who want their powers Tony Stark-style. Additionally, we’ll add rules for making non-powered, highly-skilled characters that can hold their own against powered characters so you can play the 1920s version of Batman. Finally, we’ll add several one-page city descriptions so you can take your characters on road trips away from the “big cities” of the game setting.
- Powers and GM Toolbox: $6200 - LOCKED. We’ll add an entire chapter devoted to introducing some common “comic book tropes” to the world of CAPERS, like alternate Earths, super-prisons, and clones. In addition, we’ll add some powers that allow your character to traverse these alternate Earths.
- Backer Nicknames: 300 Backers by midnight Eastern on March 25th - LOCKED. All backers get to include a gangster-style or supers-style nickname for themselves in their thank you credit.
- Next Stretch Goal: LOCKED. To be announced.
These PDFs are free to all backers at the Bootlegger level and higher. They aren't necessary to play the game, but they can help.
- Form-Fillable PDF Character Sheet: Print it and fill it out or type into it on your computer or tablet.
- Rules One-Sheet: A handy one-page summary of the rules that you can reference on your tablet or print and make available to everyone at the table.
- GM Screen Sheets: Print them off for reference or slip them into the sleeves of generic GM screens. Portrait and landscape orientations available.
- Pre-Generated Characters: A series of starting characters ready to play. Half are gangsters. Half are members of law enforcement.
- Rivals Adventure: An introductory adventure for gangster characters.
- One Busy Night Adventure: An adventure for more advanced gangster characters.
- Gloves Off Adventure: Yet another adventure for even more advanced gangster characters.
- Are there more? Wait and see...
Everyone at the Bootlegger level and higher will receive a link to purchase a soft or hardcover book at cost from DriveThruRPG’s print on demand service. You’ll also pay shipping then.
The cost will vary based on your cover choice and the final page count. Approximate costs are provided below. These numbers assume printing in the US and shipping to backers in the US. Shipping to other places will vary. Costs are approximate.
SOFTCOVER: $7 USD (printing) + $5 USD (shipping) = $12 USD
HARDCOVER: $12 USD (printing) + $6 USD (shipping) = $18 USD
The book can also be printed in the UK. DriveThruRPG automatically figures out which printing location is best for you based on your location.
Go HERE to calculate the approximate printing cost from the UK. Input hardcover or softcover, standard color, and large size, with a page count of 150.
Go HERE to see estimates for shipping to other countries.
DriveThruRPG's shipping services don't include VAT or tax for Canada, Australia, or the European Union (though Brexit may change some of this in the future).
Each player and the GM needs a deck of standard poker-style playing cards to play CAPERS. You can use your own deck of cards, or you can get a stylized, CAPERS-themed deck.
Everyone at the Bootlegger level and higher will receive a link to purchase a deck of CAPERS-themed playing cards at cost (plus shipping) from DriveThruCards’ print on demand service. Each deck will cost approximately $5 USD to print. You’ll also have to pay shipping (approximately $4 in the US). There will be no tuck box for the deck, but you can get a plastic deck box for $1 USD additional when you order your deck.
DriveThruCards only prints in the United States and international shipping costs can get pricey because VAT is charged. You have been warned.
You can add a few dollars to your pledge to get some cool stuff. When you receive your backer survey after the campaign is over, we’ll confirm exactly what you want for the extra money you pledged.
ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL COPIES OF CAPERS
If you back at the Bootlegger level or higher, you’ll get a link to buy a book at cost later. But wait, you can get more books! For each additional book you want to buy at cost later, increase your pledge by $10. These additional books are much cheaper than they’ll be when made available to the public.
ADDITIONAL CAPERS PLAYING CARDS
Everyone at the Bootlegger level and higher will receive a link to purchase a deck of CAPERS-themed playing cards at cost from DriveThruCards’ print on demand service. For each additional deck you want to buy at cost later, increase your pledge by $1.
MURDERS & ACQUISITIONS PDF
If you’d like a PDF copy of NerdBurger Games’ first RPG, Murders & Acquisitions, increase your pledge by $10. We’ll send these PDFs out as soon as backer reports are compiled.
MURDERS & ACQUISITIONS PDF/BOOK COMBO
If you’d like a PDF copy of Murders & Acquisitions AND a link for a book at cost, increase your pledge by $15. We’ll send these PDFs and links out as soon as backer reports are compiled.
Please read all of this before you back at the Gangster or Jacks and Jills level. Be SURE you can abide by these rules before backing.
If you choose the Gangster or Jacks and Jills backer level, your likeness will be featured in an interior illustration. (Alternatively, the likeness can be of another person, with their permission.) I will message you via Kickstarter ASAP and request your email address so we can confer on the illustration.
GANGSTER BACKER LEVEL INFO
When I email you, I'll present a series of illustration options that you will choose from. The options are specific and based on particular needs I have for the book.
You must choose an option and respond to me with your choice by midnight Eastern time three days after I send you the options. Failure to respond in three days may result in your favored option no longer being available.
Note that if you’re the last Gangster backer, you won’t have an illustration option choice. But, I promise all of the options are fun and will feature your likeness prominently.
JACKS AND JILLS BACKER LEVEL INFO
At this level, you create an NPC with the designer. Your NPC will get a 2-paragraph description and complete stat block in the book. Your likeness will be used in a portrait illustration for your NPC in the book and as one of the jacks in the CAPERS playing card deck. Three of the NPCs will be gangsters/bootleggers, each hailing from a different major city. The fourth NPC will be a high-ranking member of law enforcement.
We’ll confer about your NPC. I’ll get information from you and use that to craft the stat block and write a couple paragraphs of descriptive text. This will be a collaborative process and you’ll see the development along the way and be able to provide feedback.
I’ll start gathering digital reference photos of backers during the Kickstarter. It's important that you respond promptly to these these requests so that we can keep everything moving. I may ask for specific poses. Everything will be tasteful.
You must send the requested photos to me by midnight Eastern time on Thursday, April 19th, 2018. Failure to do so will result in your likeness/NPC not being included in the game and no refund will be given.
Here are the people who made the CAPERS RPG.
- Craig "Brainstorm" Campbell designed the bulk of the game and world.
- Bethany "Bitter Bethy" Varni created all the artwork while deep within her wintry lair.
- Owen "Presto" St.Gelais mocked up illusory versions before finalizing graphic design.
- Tim "Scorch" Eagon lit it up with his description of Chicago.
- James "Jimmy the Monkey" Introcaso wrote the GM Toolbox chapter...with his tail.
- Derek “Flyboy” Kamal flew over to New York and wrote all about it.
- Kevin "Loophole" Kulp teleported around several 1920s cities and wrote a short guide for each.
- Karen “Redline” Franklin edited the game at lightning speed.
Michael “Mikey the Wrench” Brock beat the maps and layout into shape.
You can learn more about what went into making CAPERS as well as listen to some actual play by clicking the links below.
- The One Shot Podcast folks are playing CAPERS this month.
- CAPERS interview on Gaming Ballistic.
- Brie Sheldon's Thoughty Blog.
- I talk to Misdirected Mark about games that don't use dice.
- I ran a game for some fine folks at DSPN Presents.
- I talked about using real world history in a game with Table Top Babble.
- I popped into Nerdarchy three hours into the Kickstarter.
- Q&A at Power Score with designer Craig Campbell, artist Beth Varni, graphic designer Owen St.Gelais, and cartographer Michael Brock.
- Text chat Q&A at RPG.net.
- More to come...
The game is fully designed, playtested, and edited. Some of the art and graphic work has already been completed. Your pledge will go toward funding the artwork, graphic design, editing, and layout remaining to be done. (Hopefully, we'll do well enough to recoup the money spent previous to this Kickstarter and maybe make a little profit. Crazy thought, right?)
The final product will be an 8-1/2”x11” game book filled with color artwork that puts you smack dab in the middle of the Roaring Twenties…that is, if some people had superpowers!
Risks and challenges
We understand the challenges of successfully fulfilling a crowdfunding campaign. We've studied the Kickstarter process in depth. Our previous crowdfunding effort saw fulfillment seven months after the conclusion of the Kickstarter, as promised.
All game content, including all support material, is completely written, edited, and ready to go. Layout is underway. The artist is ready to receive art orders the day after the Kickstarter ends.
Barring illness or the apocalypse, we are confident we will get the game to you by the end of 2018. If delays arise, we'll let you know. NerdBurger Games is committed to being a game company that turns around Kickstarter rewards efficiently and in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!